natpalumbo

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Never Have I Ever-- cultural diversity and/or cultural stereotypes?

    Never Have I Ever is strikingly different from other young adult TV shows because of its highly diverse cast. The main character, Devi, is an Indian-American seeking to navigate high school life with her two best friends, who are also women of colour. Although this show features complex characters that come from many different cultures, the show relies on cultural-stereotypes in a way that can be uncomfortable at times. For example, Devi’s "nemesis" named Ben is Jewish and is portrayed in a very cliche way — he highly values money and has a workaholic lawyer father involved in the entertainment industry. I think it is worth exploring the ways in which different cultures can be represented in TV without perpetuating stereotypes. Is it possible to create characters that identify strongly with their cultures, and yet do not conform to stereotypes?

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      Latest Comments

      I am so so happy that children’s books and movies are finally reflecting the diversity of our society. However, I think it’s important to always keep in mind WHO is doing the representing. In the past, it has been really problematic when an actor/actress played a character that belonged to a different racial group. So while it’s important to write in a culturally diverse cast, the actors/actresses must reflect that reality. Also, authors that write characters that differ from their own cultural identity must consider the power-dynamic of this practice. For example, it would be unsettling to learn that a Caucasian author was writing and representing a hispanic youth in her children’s novel. Overall, although having diverse characters is something we should aim for, there are more nuances that must be considered.

      The Long-Term Positivity of Multi-Cultural Children's Books

      I do not think that dubbing anime is an important part of making anime more accessible to western audiences. I have never heard of anyone giving up watching anime because they could not read subtitles. In the end, most english-speakers could adapt to reading subtitles in place of hearing english. I think the question is how to encourage our culture to resist the urge to assimilate everything to match our own initial habits/preferences.

      The Anime Dub Controversy

      Although I think that nostalgia will drive people to movie theatres once restrictions lessen, theatres need to brainstorm new ways to market movie-going as an event. Besides arcade games and the concession stand, theatres should introduce entertainment events (like music and short films) to attract viewers. Move theatres should continuously try to re-invent themselves to remain relevant!

      Life Without Movie Theatres